Forgiveness

Our God is holding us responsible for administrating His work of reconciliation in the earth
Matthew 18:21-35

God has made it possible for us to forgive by paying for our sins against each other with the blood Jesus shed on the cross
Ephesians 4:31-32

When we begin the process of forgiving, we will be in danger of being deceived into thinking several things that are not true:
*    * When we have to forgive a person more than once for the same event, we cannot be deceived into thinking that we didn’t really forgive the person the first time.
*    * When we still experience pain over an issue we cannot be deceived into thinking that we have not forgiven them yet. Every time I think about a painful event and the pain recurs I must go through the process again of repenting for wanting them to suffer for their error, then ask the Holy Spirit to empower me to respond to the event with His fruit. When I let Him love them through me I will administer His grace to them from the power of the cross.
*    * When our first response to a new sin is not automatically forgiveness, but our eventual response is forgiveness, we need to be encouraged that we are maturing. Maturity is measurable by our proneness to respond to a situation empowered by the fruit of God’s Spirit. At some point I will become mature enough to forgive more easily, but greater tests of our patience or kindness or peace or love will always come, to take us into a greater opportunity for growth and maturity.

When someone has sinned against me, I am in the same position of power that Jesus was in on the cross to intercede for them. Because He had been sinned against, He had authority to forgive. When someone sins against me, and I respond with loving intercession, my God loves it and gives me the blessing I am asking for them.

Under Good Teaching

This is a long post. What you see here is an introduction. If it seems interesting, read the rest of the article at the link at the end of the post.

I was tormented by the Holy Spirit with a phrase for about 4 years. I heard someone say it, but could not believe it. I had been taught that speaking in absolutes was not wise unless referring to Jesus. The phrase was, “Under good teaching, you may learn a lot, but you won’t grow a lot.”

How could it be true that it was not possible to grow in some environment, especially one where there was good teaching? No. It was an easy to assess situation.

Months later, the phrase came back into my mind, even though I was not wondering if it was true, nor was I considering the subject that caused me to hear it the first time. I found myself passing back through the same process of deciding that it could not be true, wondering why I was doing so. I was quite convinced, so why was I wondering?

Again and again for years I heard the phrase in my mind. It no longer sounded like it was spoken by the first voice I heard say it. Now it was sounding like the voice I attribute to the Spirit of God when I believe that I am hearing Him. Becoming convinced that it might be the Lord trying to make me able to believe it, I considered again and again the possibility of it being true. No, it was too absolute. How could it not be possible? Maybe not automatic, maybe not likely, but not possible? No.

Read more here…

Being a Hero

Hebrews 11:32-38 speaks about heroes of the faith: They were…..”tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mocking and beatings, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented… they wandered in deserts, and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth…. of whom the world was not worthy.”

While still in his 20’s, Bishop Francis Asbury left his home and family forever in England to come to a wilderness called America. The colonies had just declared their independence from England, and were at war to accomplish that independence.

He had to purchase a horse on which he traveled 6,000 miles a year for over 40 years. His financial reward was $60 a year, much of which he gave away or sent back to England to help his parents. He wore hand-me-downs, not tailor made suits. He had no retirement, no insurance, no dental plan, and no 401 k. He set no fee for his ministry.

He traveled on “roads” on which his horse sank many times knee-deep in mud. If a road did not exist, he would lead his horse over the steep, rocky inclines of the Appalachians to reach a pioneer community. Many times, his feet and legs were bloodied and bruised by the fierce journey.

When he arrived in the colonies, there were few Methodist believers and fewer preachers. At the end of his ministry, there were over 200,000 Methodist believers and almost 8,000 ministers. He impacted the lives of thousands upon thousands. He changed the very course of American history.

Among his converts were poor farmers, merchants, Governors of several states, frontiersmen, slaves, Native Americans, State Supreme Court Justices, attorneys, physicians, house wives, children, youth and people from all walks of life.

He gave all he had. He sought nothing for himself. His passion was to bring salvation and the Light of the Gospel to those in darkness of sin.

His qualification was the call of the Savior.

So is yours.

 

How Will They Know You

Acts 19
Ephesians 6:10-20

*   Do the people who know us best identify us more by our toys or our weapons?

*   What habits or attitudes do they most likely remember us by?

*   Is our initial view of hard situations in our lives that they are from merely physical sources?
.        Sickness
.        Accidents
.        Conflicts with other people
.                At home
.               At work
.                In Church
.                On the highway

*   What are your strategies for dealing with difficulties in these different areas?

Creating Space

Faith is the substance of things hoped for – the evidence of things not seen. It is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. It is a confidence of things hoped for, a conviction of matters not seen.

Three English translations there of Hebrews 11:1

Faith creates a space into which what we are expecting can appear. Some things will not appear if we have not created the opening that allows it. Some things will be left undone or left in place that should be broken down if we do not act or stand in faith.

Read the rest of Hebrews 11 with a fresh expectation that something could be hidden there that explains how faith does what it does. Don’t get distracted by the names or the stories, but be focused on the link that faith was in each example between hearing a word in Egypt and moving into a house you didn’t build in Palestine.

Faith toward people who have failed creates a space into which they can move toward success. Faith toward an enemy can create a space into which your God can become a strong tower, into which you can safely run.

Winning and succeeding and obtaining are not as important as standing, it seems. After all things, stand. Faith creates a space into which you can stand and withstand and refuse to give up.

Stand, therefore.

Choose LIFE

Genesis 2:9,16&17

Yahweh made a fenced-in place and grew a garden in it. He put two important trees in the middle of it. One was the tree of Life, and the other was the tree of Death.

He called the tree of Death the “tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” He told Adam not to eat the fruit on it, but to eat anything else he wanted to in the garden, including the tree of Life. The reason He gave Adam for not eating the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was that it would kill him. So, clearly, it was the tree of Death.

God didn’t call it the tree of Death, though. I believe He wanted to make a clear point of the fact that the knowledge of good that came from that source was as deadly as the knowledge of evil. That knowledge didn’t come from Yahweh. It came from the earth.

The laws men write all disagree with each other. Even Christians cannot even come to agreement on what is right and wrong. We prefer religion and rules to love and a Ruler. All the laws in the Bible and all the prophetic revelation can be summed up in, “Love God with all you are and all you have, and love your neighbor like you love yourself.”

As long as I am arguing with others about what is right and wrong and good and evil based on each of our sets of rules and laws, all I am bringing into the earth is death. When I graduate to seeking the Spirit to interpret the Bible and my circumstances through the filter of righteousness, I will begin to pour Life into the earth instead.

Right and wrong and good and evil are all the Pharisees could extract from the Scriptures, and did a poor job even at that. Jesus, the Word of God, was not recognizable to them because they would not listen to the Spirit as He offered to interpret the Scriptures to them.

The Bible is not a book of rules. It is revelation of a Ruler. When we receive Him as King and His Spirit as Lord, He can lead us into righteousness whether we have a Bible to read or not. We do have a Bible, so add it to what the Spirit wants to be in you, don’t discard or discount it. Seek His interpretation of the revelation in it.

Believers did not have a New Testament for a few hundred years, and they did better on days that we have done with it. They had the Spirit of the Living God speaking in and to and through them. You can too.

Choose Life. Don’t settle for right and wrong, and good and evil. Seek His Kingdom and His righteousness.

Blessed be THE Name

Acts 3:16  
The name of Jesus healed a man

Acts 8:9-13 
Philip preached concerning the Kingdom and the name of Jesus

Acts 16:16-18
Paul cast out a demon in the name of Jesus

Acts 26:6-11 
Paul was working against the name of Jesus

1 Kings 5:1-5; 8:14-21  
Solomon built a house for the name of the Lord

Psalm 7:17   
The Lord’s name is praised

Psalm 122  
The Lord’s name is thanked

Deuteronomy 12:1-12 
The Lord’s name is a dwelling place

Psalm 100
The Lord’s name should be blessed

Praise His Holy Name!

Asking Questions

Just asking the right questions is not always enough. Sometimes, they need to be asked the right way.

“How can this be?”

Zechariah asked that question when a messenger from Yahweh informed him that he would have a son supernaturally after a very long time of marriage. His wife Elizabeth had never been able to become pregnant, and they were both old. He responded to the angel, “How can this be?” (Luke 1:5-25)

Mary asked that same question when the same messenger from Yahweh informed her that she would have a son supernaturally at a very young age and before having had sex with any man. She was betrothed, or promised, to Joseph, which in practical terms meant that they were in the first stage of being married. They were not at the stage of the process of marriage at which they had lived or slept together, and therefore, she responded to the
angel, “How can this be?” (Luke 1:26-38)

When Zechariah asked the question, the response of the messenger implies that he was questioning the possibility of the prophecy being true. When Mary asked the question, the messenger’s response implies that she was seeking information about how it was going to happen. He replied by giving her the steps Yahweh’s Spirit would take to bring it about, answering her with “Here’s how:”

That’s the way we should ask Jesus, “Be perfect?! How can we do that?!” And maybe, the answer we get will be like the one Mary got. “Here’s how…”

I just loaded this Article on the other page. It goes deeper…